This year, students from Beaconsfield High School will be waving the legal flag for Buckinghamshire by competing in the regional heat of the National Bar Mock Trial Competition. The competition is due to be held at Oxford Crown Court on 22nd November 2014.
The competition encourages students in non-fee-paying schools from year 10 to upper sixth form to take part in mock criminal trials in a real Crown Court under the tutelage of experienced barristers and advocates, and before real judges. This will be the 24th year since the competition’s inception and will involve over 2,000 students, 300 barristers and 90 judges across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Beaconsfield High School’s students will be mentored by Neil Jarvis, Head of Crime at Blaser Mills, a regional law firm with a head office in Buckinghamshire.
Neil, who volunteered to be the school’s professional mentor, has praised the competition and is excited at the prospect of working with the school, commenting:
“I am a huge advocate of the National Bar Mock Trial competition and it is great to be involved this year. The competition encourages students to participate in advocacy, learn technical skills, and to better understand the criminal justice system. It will also offer those students a taste of what to expect in the legal profession. I look forward to mentoring the students and hopefully getting a glimpse of the lawyers and barristers of the future.”
The organisers have developed the competition so that students gain an insight into the workings of the law, particularly the criminal justice system, and to grasp what the law means in our society. Participants will gain skills in a variety of areas, including effective communication, team-working skills, forming arguments and negotiation techniques.
Additionally, the students will have an opportunity to see the adversarial criminal process first-hand, including the roles of judge, jury and advocates, as well as getting an appreciation of the use and questioning of evidence. Students will also understand sentencing powers as well as becoming more aware of the law of England and Wales.
The competing team from Beaconsfield High School are extremely excited about the competition heat. Year 10 student Sophie Beck, who will take on the role of the Defence Witness, said: “I’m really enjoying the Bar Mock Trial, and it’s interesting to see what goes on in a court case.” Jen McCallum, who will be playing the role of a Prosecution Witness, also shared her optimism and said, “I am hoping we can win!”
Media Enquiries, contact:
Business Development & Marketing Manager, Blaser Mills
0208 515 7585 / 07917 811 014